My name is Jack Powers and I'm a faculty member in the Television-Radio program of the R.H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.
I mostly teach about the business of entertainment television and research methods, and my primary area of research deals with the social effects of entertainment media on children (especially TV). To this end, I try to include interested students in my research. For example, right now I'm working with students on two projects. The first involves a systematic analysis of the nutritional content of foods featured in TV commercials on Cartoon Network, and the second examines how boy and girl characters are depicted in terms of their behavioral, physical, and appearance characteristics on The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. In addition, I have a secondary area of research dealing with humor and television.
In terms of the TV business, I've been fortunate enough to make several trips to Hollywood to meet with the executive producers of ABC's 'Modern Family.' Over the past several years, the creators and exec producers of the show have allowed me to sit in on table reads, be in the video village while on location, be on set, be present in the meetings between network execs and studio execs, observe the writing process, and even be cast in a non-speaking role in an episode. This unprecedented access to a hit TV show has allowed me to share invaluable information with our students about the best way to gain entry to the highly competitive field of television writing/production (including meeting face-to-face with some of those exec producers while in Los Angeles).
In terms of my teaching philosophy, I believe in the blending of theory and practice. Consequently, in all of my classes students leave the course with some kind of tangible product to show in future interviews for jobs/internships. For example, students enrolled in Intro to Media Industries are required to develop and release a smartphone App (dealing with entertainment media) for the Google Play market, and students enrolled in research methods work together in groups to produce an original mass media research project.
On the personal side, I'm a big, big baseball fan (as I'm sure my wife and two kids would attest) and I'm a major media junkie: television (favorite shows include 'Modern Family,' 'The Simpsons,' 'Homeland,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'South Park,' 'The Daily Show,' '60 Minutes,' and 'Charlie Rose);' news (NYT, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal); and movies (favorite directors include Tarantino, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Apatow-- among others).
Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TVRjack) or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you ever want to contact me.
PhD (mass communications, information science concentration), Syracuse University
Dissertation Title: An Examination of Racial and Ethnic Minorities on Popular Cable Children’s Programming: A Content Analysis
Advisor: George Comstock, PhD
MA (journalism/mass communication), The Ohio State University
Thesis: Network TV News and U.S. Foreign Policy
Advisor: Lee Becker, PhD
BA (communications and French), Mount Union College
Certificate of Completion (French civilization and culture): L'Institut de Touraine, Tours, France and La Sorbonne, Paris, France (joint program)
2006 -- Present, Assistant Professor, R.H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
Responsible for teaching 3-4 courses per term at the undergraduate level. Additional responsibilities include advising 50+ students every semester; supervising internships and independent studies.
· Introduction to Media Industries
· Social Effects of Mass Media on Children
· Mass Media Research Methods
· Entertainment Media Writing
2004 – 2006, Adjunct Instructor, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
· Social Effects of Television
· Television and Children
· Media Effects Seminar
OTHER ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE
Research Assistant to Professor George Comstock, S.I. Newhouse Endowed Chair, Newhouse School, Syracuse University, (2003 – 2006). Primary research areas:
· The influence of television and digital media on children
· Information behavior of youth
· Socialization of children via mass media
· Psychology of media and politics
Digital Convergence Center, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University.
The Center for Digital Literacy, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
Consultant for the academic book:
· O’Shannon, D. (2012). What are you laughing at? A comprehensive guide to the comedic event. New York: Continuum Publishing.
Powers, J., Comstock, G. (2012). The rumors of television’s demise have been greatly exaggerated: What the data say about the future of television content in a child’s digital world. Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism, 2(4), 2-8.
Comstock, G., Powers, J. (2012). Paths from television violence to aggression: Reinterpreting the evidence. In. L. J. Shrum (Ed.), The Psychology of Entertainment Media: Blurring the Lines Between Entertainment and Persuasion, 2nd Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Nilan, M., Wang, C., & Powers, J. (2006). Developing a behavioral model for e-service systems design. Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation & Technology, 681-683.
Jeffres, L.W., Powers, J., & Lee, J. (2006) Building community: Communication patterns and student involvement on campus. Metropolitan Universities: An international forum, 18(1), 87-102.
Nilan, M., Wang, C., & Powers, J. (2005) A Conceptual foundation for e-service system design: Toward a model of collective problem-solving behaviors. Proceedings of the 6th Annual Global Information Technology Management World Conference, p. 104.
Mueller, M., Powers, J., & Zhang, M. (2006). Digital mobile television, handset convergence, and the “digital divide.” Digital Convergence Center. A proprietary report funded by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Seoul, S. Korea.
Selected Conference Presentations:
Powers, J., Peruta, A. (2012). The stuff we sell to our kids: A content analysis of TV commercials aimed toward children. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April.
Peruta, A., Powers, J. (2012). Kid appeal: Internet food marketing strategies in the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April.
Powers, J. (2011). The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated: What the data say about the future of television. Mass Communication and Society Division. Association in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), St. Louis, MO, August.
Powers, J. (2010). Girl power: A content analysis of boy and girl characters on popular children’s cable networks. Mass Communication and Society Division, Association in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Denver, CO, August.
Powers, J. (2009). Depictions of minority characters on popular children’s cable programs: A content analysis. Minorities and Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Boston, MA, August.